Whenever you’re sending or receiving money between bank accounts, you’ll want to make sure the transaction is processed safely. This is especially important if you're sending or receiving money internationally, so in this case you'll usually be asked for some extra details to help make sure the cash makes it to the right person in the end.
In most cases, to send money to, or receive money from an account based abroad, you need a SWIFT code. This simple, unique code shows which bank you're transferring money to, and where in the world the branch is located.
You might also see references to BIC codes, which is short for Business Identifier Code. These are the same as SWIFT codes.
If you're making a payment to an RBS account from overseas, or if someone is transferring cash internationally to your UK based RBS account, you'll be asked for a BIC/SWIFT code and a few other details like the bank address.
You can find everything you'll need to transfer your money safely, here:
|Bank Name||Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc|
|SWIFT/BIC Code for RBS||RBOSGB2L|
|Bank address||Premier Place, Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4XB, Kingdom|
|Beneficiary Account Number||Complete RBS bank account number of the recipient (don't forget to include leading zeros)|
|Beneficiary Name||The name of recipient’s account as it appears on a bank statement|
SWIFT codes are unique identifier codes used by banks all over the world to make sure your money goes to the right place when you make a transfer. They're especially important in international money transfers.
SWIFT codes show several different pieces of information, using 8 or 11 characters, and a mix of letters and numbers:
AAAA - Bank Code
BB - Country Code
CC - Location Code
DDD - Optional Branch Code
The 8 character code is for your bank's main office, and you’ll need an 11 character code if you want a specific branch.
A SWIFT code, or BIC, is the code used to get the money being transferred to the right bank. However, that’s not generally enough on its own. You'll also need more information to show which exact account within the bank money is going to.
In the EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Hungary, this information is contained within an IBAN. This code, which stands for International Bank Account Number, identifies the country the account is in, the bank, and the account number.
The system isn’t quite the same in the United States. Here you might also hear about routing numbers, which are similar to SWIFT codes, but only used for bank transfers within the US. SWIFT codes are a little different as they’re usually used for international money transfers.
Each branch has a unique SWIFT code. You can find a list of SWIFT codes for your RBS branch here. However, as long as you use the right Head Office SWIFT code, they’ll still route the payment to your branch.
If you’re going to make an international money transfer, it'll pay to check out the costs involved. That’s because your home bank might not offer the best deal. There will be steep administration costs, and even if your bank says they offer fee-free transfers, the exchange rates used are often poor.
There are better deals on offer through a specialist service like TransferWise. TransferWise use the real mid-market exchange rate, with only a small transparent fee, meaning you pay less overall. Transactions are safe, and might even be quicker than using your bank. Your money is transferred securely, and at the lowest possible cost to you.